SEYCHELLES COUNCIL OF MINISTERS APPROVE CHANGES IN TOURISM INSTITUTIONS
(Posted 13th December 2013)
2014 will be a landmark year for Seychelles’ tourism and culture public sector institutions, as major reforms, realignments and organizational changes are coming into effect, after the Council of Ministers approved the proposals made.
The Ministry of Tourism and Culture, led by Minister Alain St. Ange and two Principal Secretaries for Tourism and for Culture, will take the overall lead vis a vis policy, standards and regulations, among other functions and have existing and new departments subordinate to it to allow for the best possible coordination of all the various missions allocated to those statutory bodies.
(Minister St. Ange seen here addressing the meeting earlier this week in Victoria)
Minister St. Ange, when meeting all the concerned staff at the International Conference Centre in Victoria, explained the new structure and various changes as follows:
‘The planning of this has been going for quite a while. Many a meeting has taken place and finally the proposed structure has been approved by the Council of Ministers, and it will come into place in the first two months of 2014. The aim has been to increase productivity, and to ensure high performance and the delivery of service within respective Departments, and also the delivery of service to our respective public or clients. It is very important that all staff are aware, that all their work and performance, will be under constant monitoring and evaluation; which means that each individual will have to ensure, that he or she, is giving the highest level of service at all times, because this will have definitely have a significant impact on end of year appraisals’.
As of next year, according to information availed late yesterday, a new agency will be set up to run and manage major cultural events the government holds. As a result the events sections at the Seychelles Tourism Board, the National Arts Council (NAC) and the Seychelles Heritage Foundation, will merge to form the new ‘Creative Industries and National Events Agency (CINEA)’. Continued the Minister in his explanation: ‘This has been necessary because the Government will be implementing the new Creative Industries Policy, as well as a new Strategy for Music Development, in accordance with UNESCO’.
UNESCO experts who were in Seychelles in 2012 to help Seychelles draft its Music Policy and Music Strategy advised on the move that would be helping the Ministry of Tourism and Culture fulfil its commitment to the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, which Seychelles ratified in June 2005.
The new Creative Industries and National Events Agency (CINEA) will also be responsible for the promotion, development, and preservation of National Heritage Sites. The new agency will also house a division for events management, which includes all arts and cultural manifestation, festivals and carnivals, formerly organized separately and individually by the Department of Culture, the Tourism Board, the International Conference Centre or the National Arts Council.
Continued Minister St. Ange: ‘It is important for me to again re-state to avoid any misunderstanding or misrepresentation. No One, I repeat, No One will be losing their job, their employment through this coming change. A new body, a new administration, yes, but every staff member today working at the National Arts Council, the Heritage Foundation, the Events Department at the Seychelles Tourism Board and the International Conference Centre will be offered a new contract of employment simultaneously as the one body is phased out and the new one created. For all staff touched by this change think of the avenues ahead that create opportunities. Any moment can be seen as the darkest if you do not take time to talk, or the brightest if you get the right information from the right person.
Also as of next year, the ministry will welcome the Kreol Institute – soon to be re-named the International Kreol Institute at the upcoming Indian Ocean Commission meeting in January 2014 to become part of the overall set up for culture and tourism in the country.
In regard of the future functions of the tourism board and the linkage with the Seychelles Tourism Academy the minister then added: ‘The Seychelles Tourism Board’s function will now focus only on marketing. The Ministry will assume the regulatory functions of products and standards as well as policy and international cooperation. The events management of the Seychelles Tourism Board will move into the new national body, the Creative Industries and National Events Agency, whereas the Seychelles Tourism Academy (STA) will become a more autonomous body and will now fall directly under the Ministry of Tourism and Culture. To recall, the Seychelles Tourism Academy, is currently being rebuilt and it is set to reopen next year.
As he ended his address at the general staff meeting, Minister St.Ange also said that there would be further discussions with staff in specific sections such as the Film Classification Unit which will also experience some change next year.
The way things are now shaping up suggest that Seychelles Tourism, and Culture for that matter, will be operating in a leaner, more streamlined and more functional environment come next year, and the anticipated move of the Ministry into new premises, where at least the Seychelles Tourism Board if not other agencies too will find a new home, will serve notice to the Seychelles’ competitors for tourists, that it will not be ‘business as usual’. A new spirit will propel the Seychelles forward and with a new organizational set up the tourism powers that be will no doubt redouble the archipelago’s efforts to not just continue their marketing juggernaut, but setting their combined eyes on new visitor records while showcasing tourism attractions, cultural attractions, music and history in a hitherto never seen display of unity, which will lend them strength and power to succeed. Seychelles, truly Another World.
(Minister St. Ange, the two Principal Secretaries and all the staff present)